March 18, 2012
Gail Garren, MSN, RN, CPHQ
In administrative health care today, there are constant occurrences of ethical issues in the everyday behaviors. As health care administrators, we have responsibilities to ourselves, the organization, the patients, and our employees. The increasing information technology, which is the future, can be an ethical concern to administrators of the confidentiality of information on patients. Confidential information is private or privileged information, and should be that luxury. In health care, the confidential information that is stored into an information system, such as a ...view middle of the document...
The facility thinks that this happened on or around December 19th. The facility states that the files were secured and the employee has been terminated (KABC, 2011).
Loma Linda University is not the only facility that has these issues of employees taking home medical records of patients or looking into a patient’s medical record. This has happened to my wife. About two (2) months ago, she received a letter from St. Jude’s Medical Center, stating that her medical record had been compromised. An individual had stolen computers with their hard-drives, which had not only hers, but others as well. The information on these computers had over 2,000 records that were stolen and may be compromised. She too has been told to check here credit to avoid any false transactions. This happens all the time and one does not need to quote or do research on this.
Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH)
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH), passed on part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This was implemented and the significant use of health information technology. Under the HITECH law and under its subtitle D, it addresses the privacy and the security concerns that are associated with the electronic transmission of health information and the requirements that support the civil and criminal enforcement of the HIPAA rules and regulations (HHS, 2011). The use of these laws, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will post a list of the breaches of unsecured protected health information that affect more than 500 or more individuals. The hospital itself will need to notify the Secretary of HHS immediately and notify the media within the jurisdiction of the patients whose medical records were breached. The breaches that have occurred, example of the Loma Linda employee, are now posted in a new, more accessible format that will allow users to search and sort the posted breaches. This format will include brief summaries of the breach cases that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has investigates and closed, as well the names or private providers who have reported breaches of unsecured protected information to the Secretary of HHS. (HHS, 2011).
Impact on the Population
The impact that these 1,336 people who had their medical records taken and viewed, not just by the former employee, but others he may have been in contact with. Of course, this is frustrating to the patients, because now they will have to monitor their credit to make sure that nothing is suspicious. This is just another busy task for the individuals involved. This can add more stress and even much busier lives, other than what they might have now.
Ethical and Legal Issues
A breach of private patient information and release to another party, without a patient permission or court ordered subpoena. This kind of release can be written, fax, or...